CR-1 Visa in Thailand

US Visa in Thailand

TIP:It is important to use a Thai consultant who is based in Thailand and who can communicate in Thai to prevent errors and misunderstandings. A Thai consultant will handle all application forms, arrange translation of Thai documents into English, help in obtaining police clearance and scheduling medical examinations, and, most importantly, prepare your Thai partner for the visa interview.

If a US citizen has been married for less than two years when his or her Thai spouse becomes a lawful permanent resident in the US, then the Thai spouse gets residence on a conditional basis through the CR-1 (Conditional Residence) visa. The CR-1 is valid for two years following the entry date to the US.

Within 90 days prior to the expiration of the two-year residence period (which starts from the date of the foreign spouse's entry), the US citizen, together with the spouse, must apply to USCIS to remove the condition to the residence.

CR-1 Visas are not restrictive, meaning they can be issued to spouses regardless of their status or gender identity. If the CR-1 Visa sponsor happens to be married to a spouse of the same sex, then by US law their spouse can enjoy the same rights as different sex couples with respect to marriage-based recognition. In addition, if your spouse is on active military duty, then you can also apply for a CR-1 Visa for them. There are certain special considerations and benefits available to military service members and their families as well.

Should we apply for a K-3 Visa, a CR-1 Visa, or an IR-1 Visa?

Under the category of Immigrant visa for a foreign spouse of a US citizen, there are multiple types of visa which can be applied for. Aside from the CR-1, the other usual option is the K-3 visa. Another option is the IR-1 Visa. It is important, therefore, to contemplate the different factors when deciding which visa is more appropriate.

The K-3 and CR-1 have different timelines for their respective application processes. If you wish to bring your spouse to the US sooner rather than later, then the K-3 visa route is the ideal option to take. K-3 visa application processes are several months faster than that of CR-1 applications. CR-1 visa approval can, as of 2021, take up to approximately 10 months or more from the initial application to visa issuance. The time, however, may vary depending on the circumstances, as some cases may be shorter than others.

If you are intending to acquire a green card for your Thai spouse, you will have to consider the time that the Adjustment of Status will take to complete. It is also more costly in the long run. On a CR-1 visa, the Thai spouse immediately gets legal permanent residency upon entry to the US.

K-3 visa holders are also not allowed to become legally employed in the US, not until they have secured a work authorization. While on a CR-1 visa, the foreign spouse is granted the privilege to apply for a job at once.

Apart from the K-3 Visa option, another visa similar to the CR-1 is the IR-1 Visa, but the main difference between the CR-1 and IR-1 is the length of marriage between the visa sponsor and their spouse. CR-1 visas are reserved for couples married less than two years, while the IR-1 is mostly issued to couples with more than two years of marriage.

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How do I apply for a CR-1 Visa for my Thai spouse?

The preparation of documents alone for the CR-1 application can be overwhelming and confusing to many. Practically speaking, it is not uncommon that intending applicants become apprehensive about the outcome of their application, considering that they will have to put forth money, time, and effort. Should you decide to apply for a CR-1 for your spouse though, here are some key points to consider:

  1. You must be a US citizen or legal permanent resident. Proof of residency may be indicated by having a US domicile, meaning you must either live in the United States or prove that you plan to return to the United States with your foreign spouse.
  2. You and your spouse must be lawfully married and provide a valid marriage certificate.
  3. The authenticity of the marriage must be proven with evidence. Documents such as joint bank account statements, credit card statements, mortgages, loans, or deeds will suffice. Wedding photographs and flight itineraries may be accepted as well, though it would be recommended that you provide additional, solid documentation to support your case.
  4. CR-1 visa sponsors must pledge to support their spouse and file an Affidavit of Support financially. You must have the means to support your household at 125% of the federal poverty level. If the sponsor doesn’t meet the income requirements, they can use a joint sponsor.
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How long does my spouse’s CR-1 visa last?

The benefit, which is the CR-1 Visa provided through consular processing, will be valid for 6 months after their medical examination. Once the U.S. border official admits them into the country and returns the documents, their visa will then be valid for a 12 month period. During this period, they can travel freely in and out of the country, and can expect to receive your final green card.

Here at Siam Legal, we offer professional assistance to help you with the entire process of obtaining a CR-1 Visa. Our proven track record with CR-1 visa applications is why we are the most preferred immigration services provider across the Kingdom of Thailand.

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Local Office Numbers:
Bangkok: 02-254-8900
Phuket: 084-021-9800
Chiang Mai: 053-818-306
Pattaya: 084-021-9800
International Numbers:
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